Declutter Stress Away
I am a third generation hoarder…
Not really. We are just crazy emotional people and have a sentimental attachment to every item we have ever owned. It makes it very difficult to let go of things.
We were very blessed to have a home to move into when we first got married; the home that had been my grandparents. We lived there for almost 7 years and in 2015, we purchased our own home on 8 acres about 3 miles from my family and that little white house.
We knew that the majority of the items in our home had been left from my grandparents, but it didn’t really become apparent until we began to move. O.M.G. There was so much stuff! Things that we had never used, things we had hardly used and then a handful of things we actually use on a regular basis.
I used the move as an opportunity to purge a lot of things. I was pregnant during this whole process, which could not have been better. I go into full-blown nesting mode and find an energy that I never knew I had!
I am still continuing to go through things, but I had this mind altering revelation through this whole process. I am so much less anxious (major Anxiety/OCD here) when there is significantly less clutter around me. It is a visual stimulant for me. When I see large amounts of anything, really, I get overwhelmed. I don’t know where to start and I kind of shut down.
I also realized that, obviously, the less things you have, the less things you have to clean, pick up, wash, etc. Do your kids play with EVERY toy in their overflowing toy box? No. They have like 5 toys that they always come back to. Now, I am not saying that you have to get rid of everything. I have gone through the girls babies a million times. For some reason, I have so much trouble getting rid of baby dolls and stuffed animals. I remember who gave them each and every one (crazy emotional attachment to everything) and cannot turn them loose.
Another variable to this process is the fact that I am an Interior Designer. I have things that don’t serve a purpose, but are decorative. For example, do I really NEED that red lantern with no glass in it that has just been sitting in my Mom’s attic for years? No. BUT, will it look adorable in the baby’s room? YES!
So, Mommas, if you are like me and would like to simplify your life by getting rid of clutter, I have several suggestions to get you started!
- Start with one room a week. Here is that overwhelming thing. If you think about the fact that you need to go through the ENTIRE house, it easily becomes crazy overwhelming. Just decide, THIS week, I will go through the kitchen.
- Sell your valuable things, but don’t be afraid to give the other things to Goodwill. You have to sort through what someone would truly pay for and what should just be donated. I know you paid like $60 for that name brand bra and you have only worn it once, but ain’t nobody gonna want your used bra… That being said, you can make some serious jack selling the valuable things that you have lying around.
- If you haven’t used it in 6 months, let it go. Unless it is something seasonal like your Christmas china, you don’t need it if you haven’t used it.
- For decorative items: if it doesn’t serve a purpose, but you were going to use it as decor in your home, PUT IT WHERE IT GOES. That framed picture isn’t bringing you any joy tucked away in the hall closet. Hang it on a wall.
- Drawers… Apparently every piece of furniture I own has drawers. When we moved, I found years of junk in each and every one of those drawers. It is liberating to look at that furniture post-decluttering and know that there is nothing hidden in there.
- Simplify your wardrobe. I have 3 kids and a husband, who dirties more clothes by himself than all 3 kiddos put together. The fewer clothes you have, the shorter a period of time you can go without doing laundry and small, frequent loads are much less stressful than crazy giant loads. Why does one child need 5 solid white shirts? She doesn’t.
- Make your kiddos help! This first started as a way to encourage my babies to understand that they are blessed to have the things they do. However, it has developed into this deeper, philanthropic thing for them. They now come to ME and want to go through their toys so they can give them to children who don’t have any. That makes this Momma’s heart very happy.
- Don’t use attic space as a crutch. Just because you have that GREAT walk-in attic space, does NOT mean you need to fill it up. The only things in my attic are holiday decorations, and a limited number of boxed memories (again, stupid emotions…), because there are just some baby clothes I CANNOT part with…
- Use attractive storage for the things you decide to keep. We LIVE in our den and my kids are going to play in there! So, I use an old galvanized tub to hold some toys in that space. It also makes for a quick clean up when I can grab everything out of the floor and toss them in the tub.
Having things is not wrong. It is just more about quality, not quantity. And quality does not necessarily equal expensive! I am the thriftiest person I know! It means that you should surround yourself with items that improve your happiness; your QUALITY of life. Some of my absolute favorite things cost absolutely nothing! They bring me joy, not take away from it by adding additional and unnecessary stressers to my life.
Thank you for reading and Happy Decluttering!